Online bulletin boards - whether newsgroups, blogs, or web-based bulletin boards – are a popular forum for investors to share information about various investment opportunities.
While some messages may be true, some turn out to be bogus - or even scams. Fraudsters often use online forums to pump up a company or pretend to reveal "inside" information about upcoming announcements, new products, or lucrative contracts.
Since online bulletin boards often allow users to hide their identity behind aliases, it may be impossible to know the source of information and whether it is credible. A single person can easily create the illusion of widespread interest in a small, thinly traded stock by posting a series of messages under various aliases. People claiming to be unbiased observers who've carefully researched the company may actually be company insiders, large shareholders or paid promoters.
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